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November 2022


Coming Together

We had a wonderful time getting together recently for our TiBA Presents Let's Learn & Act Together: Housing, Segregation & Change event. We shared personal experience, learned about the history of segregation in housing and its lasting effects, and took away action items to confront this issue in our own communities. If you missed this event, we'd love to see you at our next one. Stay tuned!

In this month's newsletter:

  • We have a chance to come together at the polls next week. The 2022 Midterm Elections are Tuesday, November 8. While there are no presidential candidates on the ballot, it is still vital we get out and vote. We've gathered important information for this crucial election below.


  • The Safe -T Act has been a focal point in Illinois' gubernatorial race, and there has been a lot of misinformation spread about what this groundbreaking act means for Illinois citizens. One of the components of the act is abolishing cash bail. We break down the history of bail in the country, and share information about the Safe - T Act itself. 


  • On the heels of cancer awareness month, we wanted to take a moment to highlight Henrietta Lacks, whose contribution to cancer research is extraordinary. We've shared a little background about Ms. Lacks, but we encourage you to read more about this incredible woman.
We are also still looking for help with managing our Facebook page. If you want to become more involved with TiBA or you have a knack for social media, let us know!


If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with all our TiBA happenings.

The Importance of Midterm Elections

The Washington Post has created a Democracy Toolkit for the 2022 Midterm Elections, including their article What are midterm elections and why are they important? As its name suggests, midterm elections are between presidential elections, but still carry a lot of weight: much of Congress is up for election, and 36 states have aligned local elections - including gubernatorial elections - with this schedule.

Not surprisingly, this year is a crucial midterm, with issues like abortion, voting rights, gun control, and election denying front and center. The Post's larger toolkit provides information like finding who is on your ballot, how to make sure your vote counts, and how the election will affect the issues you care about.

This country has a long and persistent history of voter suppression. It is critical that we all get out and vote - it is our fundamental right and duty in a democracy. Every single American's voice deserves to be heard.

Election Day for the 2022 Midterm Elections is Tuesday, November 8. If you haven't done so already, make your voting plan today!
The History of Bail and Illinois' New Safe-T Act

The practice of collecting bail has existed in what we know as the United States before the nation was officially founded, and was initially based on English law. Bail has now morphed into a practice where rich and poor receive unequal justice, and because of a framework of unequal systems in our society, Black and Brown Americans are affected by debilitating consequences of pretrial detention. 

Illinois is set to be the first state to abolish the cash bail system on January 1, 2023. The measure that will eliminate bail was introduced in 2021, giving Illinois' justice system two years to plan for this major overhaul of the pretrial detention system. Among other things, this bill is set to move Illinois from a system of pretrial detention that prioritizes wealth, to one that prioritizes public safety. As is to be expected, this act has been met with misinformation campaigns, even calling it a "Purge Law." This article from Injustice Watch tackles some of the myths circulating about the Safe-T Act.

There is a lot to consider when challenging entrenched systems in America: Are these systems still serving a purpose in our era? Were they designed fairly? Do they impact different groups in different ways (eg. do they have a debilitating affect on a certain racial group or class)? When considering whether to support an initiative to eliminate cash bail, reflect on the following:

  1. Consider if you believe in the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” More than 400,000 people in the US are currently detained pretrial (
  2. Consider if you believe people should have to stay in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. On the flip side, consider if you believe people should be able to buy themselves out of jail for similar crimes as others who have to stay detained.
  3. Consider the language used when reading about the Safe-T Act. Do you believe in the humanity of so-called “criminals?” Do you notice when language is used to divide? If not, start this practice when reading about political decisions (or anything, really). 

To learn more about the history of bail, check out Punishing Poverty: How Bail and Pretrial Detention Fuel Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System by Christine S. Scott-Hayward and Henry F. Fradella.


Henrietta Lacks' (Non-Consensual) Contribution to Cancer Research

Henrietta Lacks and Her Husband, David, ca. 1945
Cancer Awareness Month is observed every October, but there is an oft-overlooked contributor to cancer research that deserves celebration: Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta died of cervical cancer at age 31 in 1951. During her treatment at then-segregated Johns Hopkins, a sample of her cancer cells were taken from her without her permission (this was largely the practice at the time). Normally when cancer cells are taken outside the body, they die, but Henrietta's cervical cancer cells did not; they continued to divide and multiply. Thus, the He-La (after Henrietta Lacks) cells were born and revolutionized cancer research.

As the He-La cells were shared with more institutions, people began making money off the advancement of research made possible by Henrietta, and her family was seeing none of the profits. From Clarence Spigner at "The life and death of Henrietta Lacks is a cautionary tale that reflects the inherent contradiction between the stated purpose of medical research to provide benefit to human kind and the reality of blatant profiteering in the name of the advancement of science."

Learn more about Henrietta's story from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot or Henrietta Lacks the Untold Story by Ron Lacks (Henrietta's grandson).
Looking for Volunteer Leaders: 
Social Media Management

TiBA is looking for help managing our Facebook operations. If you are social media savvy and would like to become more involved with our organization, please contact us. We would love for you to join our team of Volunteer Leaders!
For more information, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.
If you have any questions or would like to become more involved, send us an email!
Copyright © 2022 Together is Better Alliance, NFP, All rights reserved.

The TiBA Board of Directors is:
Pres. Sharon Hatchett, Esq., Vice-Pres. Xcylur Stoakley, Treas. Tom Denio, Sec. Bruce Bondy, June Furlan, Dr. Raquel Farmer-Hinton, Van Gilmer, & Mae Smith.

Our mailing address is:
3835 N. Kildare Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641

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